10 Easy Steps To Advanced Photography Skills

3. Get Rid Of Your Toy Camera

Oh, look at that camera you have! It’s so tiny and slim and techno-looking. Look! It fits right in your pocket! Oh my, you can take it to parties and sporting events, and it’s so convenient. Oh, it is 10 megapixels, too? Oh my. Well, that is a good camera then!

No, it’s not. It’s a toy: give it to your kids or the nearest gradeschooler (for whom it was designed) and get serious. I know that 19-year-old punk at Best Buy told you that your compact camera is really neat and just what you need. But are you gonna listen to him or me?

Get yourself a DSLR (I have suggestions on my page that aren’t very expensive for people just starting out). For those of you who don’t know, a DSLR is one of those cameras you see the pros carrying, but it doesn’t have to be a giant one like what you see in the NFL endzone.

Sorry to be rude about the toy thing, but you want to take more beautiful pictures, no? Well, a decent DSLR has such a good sensor chip, combined with more flexible lenses, that your batting average will dramatically improve.

An ancient Hindu temple at sunset in the jungles of Indonesia.

An ancient Hindu temple at sunset in the jungles of Indonesia.

Also (people with DSLRs already know this), it is important to have a good wide-angle lens for landscapes. Beautiful photography does not have to be of a landscape, but it commonly is, and this is what many people envision when they want to make their own beautiful photos. So, we should talk about wide-angle lenses here for a moment.

If you are used to using a toy camera, then you have never really seen the world through a good 10 to 24mm lens. It’s almost the difference between regular TV and HDTV. The vistas are wide and bold; the clouds, sun and mountains all fit; the river and bridge are easy to compose; and so on. Once you go wide-angle, your landscape will never be the same!

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Rob Sheppard

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Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.

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